Roland Martin: Mocking Soccer or Sexuality?

He's responded to criticism from gay-rights groups over his Super Bowl tweets. 

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Roland Martin (Associated Press/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

CNN's Roland Martin was heavily criticized and labeled homophobic by followers and gay-rights groups after tweeting last night that people should "smack the ish out" of male fans of Super Bowl commercial starring David Beckham.

Martin, who's a proilific tweeter in addition to his role as a political analyst, wrote that "real bruhs" would not purchase underwear advertised by the soccer player.

The Huffington Post reports that gay-rights group GLAAD tweeted a response to Martin, saying that "advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN." The activist group went even further and has now called for CNN to fire Martin, saying his statements were "part of a larger pattern for Martin." The organization also criticized a tweet Martin sent earlier in the day, in which he made fun of a New England Patriot player who arrived wearing a pink jumpsuit. "He needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass," he wrote.

Martin admits that his tweets were part of a pattern. But he says it was one that has to do with teasing soccer players, not advocating violence against gay men. He issued the following response:

Fam, let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday. I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I'm sorry folks took it otherwise. It was meant to be a deliberately over the top and sarcastic crack about soccer; I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not. As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, anytime soccer comes up during football season it's another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more.

Can we chalk this up to a misunderstanding, or was there truly something troubling behind Martin's tweets? Let us know in the comments. 

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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